Establishment of ramified transport infrastructure as important factor of economic and social development of Turkmenistan is one of priority directions of the state policy pursued by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Large-scale projects initiated by the Head of the State have been successfully implemented in this sphere. It includes the modernization of existing and construction of new automobile and railway roads, fundamental renewal and expansion of the equipment and facilities base of civil aviation and fleet.
Special attention is paid to the formation of international transport corridors. Taking into account favourable geographic location, Turkmenistan, which territory accommodated important routes of the Silk Road, is an important link of the world communication space. Its significance as the intersection of transcontinental routes has grown in new historical age. National network of railways and motor roads gave strong impulse to dynamic development of all velayats of the country together with the consolidation of international transport connection.
Availability of highly organized transport system allowing the provision of fast and efficient transportation of goods to local and foreign markets is one of the main requirements of development of market economy of the country, growth of its production and technical base. In addition, the demand on transport services by the population is growing.
According to the State Statistics Committee, 27.3 million tons of cargo have been transported in general in the country for January – June 2018, which is 1.2 percent more of the same period of the last year. The volume of passenger transportation has reached 509.1 million people with the growth rate of 1.1 percent. The cargo turnover has increased by 6.6 percent and passenger turnover by 3.1 percent.
The importance of motor transport is growing more in profile branch. For example, the share of motor transport in total volume of cargo turnover (excluding the pipelines) was 51.3 percent and in passenger turnover – 83.3 percent. The volume of transport services rendered by the Ministry of Automobile Transport has increased by 22.7 percent for this period.
The Ministry bought modern buses such as «Iran Khodro», «PAZ-32054», «Hyundai Universe Luxury», «Hyundai New Super Aero City», «Yutong», «Toyota Hiace» as well as taxis «Hyundai Elantra» and «Toyota Corolla», which provides the service for the population and the guest of our country. New urban, intercity and suburban routes are opened for the satisfaction of the demand on automobile transportation. their number increases in summer time during holiday season.
There are 619 regular routes in the country including 67 city, 25 suburban and 10 intercity in Ashgabat, 18 city, 50 suburban and 17 intercity in Ahal Velayat, 19 city, 23 suburban and 32 intercity in Balkan Velayat, 16 city, 100 suburban and 8 intercity in Dashoguz Velayat, 30 city, 78 suburban and 11 intercity in Lebap Velayat, 18 intercity, 83 suburban and 11 intercity in Mary Velayat. 16 new routes including 2 city, 4 suburban and 10 intercity routes have been launched since the beginning of the year.
Heavy trucks of our old partner, the KAMAZ company, have been involved for the service of big constructions in Turkmenistan as well as for the transportation of the grain and other agricultural crops.
According to the instruction of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Interdepartmental commission for the proposal on establishment of transport and logistic centre in Turkmenistan has been founded for solution of the objectives on improvement of the efficiency of international transport and transit corridors.
Moreover, the construction of the complex of motor transport facilities and training centre of driving school associations is carried out along Ashgabat – Dashoguz highway. It is planned to build passenger bus terminals in Turkmenabat, Dashoguz, Mary and Balkanabat.
The Ministry has transported 5,588,900 tons of cargo for January – June 2018 with the growth rate of 100.9 percent. The cargo turnover for this period is equal to 149,230,000 tons per kilometre with the growth rate of 100.5 percent. 160,435,100 people have been transported for this period, which is 2,142,800 people more than for the same period of the last year with the growth rate of 101.4 percent. The growth rate of passenger turnover was 978,963,000 passengers per kilometre and made 102.3 percent.
The income of the Ministry increased by 2 percent. The Ministry fulfilled the plan on payment to the State budget by 116 percent.
Railroad transportation of cargo and passengers is important for the development of national economy. This type of transport preserves preferential positions in transportation of such mass cargoes as oil and oil products, construction materials as well as in transit transportation. cargo and passenger turnover of the Ministry of Railway Transport has grown by 0.1 and 1.7 percent accordingly for January – June 2018. The income of railway department for this period increased by 9.2 percent comparing for the same period of 2017.
Production of the work of specialists and quality of services have been significantly improved in the result of fundamental renewal of the fleet of railway department. Ashgabat railway station provides the service of 10 passenger trains, which makes 15,000 passengers.
For the last years, Turkmenistan has bought 425 passenger carriers from China. These are sleeping carriers of high comfort, four-bed cabins and six-seat reserved cabins. They all meet modern requirements on technical provision and equipped with heating and air conditioning units, audio, radio and light systems.
New technologies come to the industry as well. Computer tickets sale has been arranged. Another service, the sale of the tickets through the terminals, is under the test these days.
Demand of railroad transport significantly increases in summer period when many people go to sanatoriums, Avaza National tourist zone. Additional fast train were introduced for uninterrupted passenger transportation in this period.
Passenger transportation and passenger turnover of air transport has increased by 9.3 and 9.2 percent respectively for the first six months of the year while cargo transportation and cargo turnover respectively by 31.8 and 27.8 percent. Volume of incomes from realization of transport services by the enterprises of Turkmenhowayollary Services including Turkmenistan Air Company has grown by 12.4 percent.
The State Service of Maritime and River Transport demonstrates the most dynamic growth of passenger turnover in 2018. This indicator has increased by 72.77 percent for January _ June 2018 comparing with the same period of 2017. The plan for income from this activity is fulfilled by 427.9 percent with the growth rate of 261.4 percent. Passenger and vehicle transportation is made by two RO-PAX ferryboat Berkarar and Bagtiyar, which were built at Croatian shipyard by the order of our country.
Putting into operation of new Turkmenbashy Seaport, which is to become an important link in modern transport infrastructure and to bring economic and trade cooperation between Asian and European countries to new level and to optimize transport flows in the continent, having connected many of them in Turkmenistan, gave strong impulse to the development of national transport complex.
Opening of the shipyard in the port is a bright evidence of steadfast and successful solution of important objective on rapid formation of developed national maritime fleet. For example, repair works are carried out at the moment on Magtumguly, Turkmenistan and Bitarap ships. It is planned to repair foreign ships I as well in the future.
It is also planned to build pleasure and sport boats for satisfaction of the demands of the tourists in Avaza National tourist zone, fishing trawlers and other ships.
Passenger and ferry terminal of Turkmenbashy Port is able to receive 300,000 passengers and 75,000 trailers per year. Container terminal has 400,000 TEU average annual capacity and is able to process three ships with total capacity of 5,000 tons simultaneously. General cargo terminal is designed for the processing of 4 million tons of cargo per year. These are construction materials, metals, wood, equipment, machines, etc. Four 5,000 tons ships are able to come alongside the terminal. Annual capacity of bulk cargo terminal is 3 million tons. Its jetty provides loading and offloading of three ships with total capacity of 5,000 tons. The same amount of ships are able to come alongside the terminal for storage and loading of polypropylene with annual capacity of 120,000 tons.
Making convenient corridors for international transit, it is necessary to stipulate the connection of internal territories with their richest resource base, the Head of the State highlights. Creation of multimodal logistic system covering big industrial centres of the velayats of the country and involving land, air and water routes in the most favourable combination is aimed for this purpose. It will improve the time of delivery and the process of management of cargo transportation.
1,853,800 tons of transit cargos have been transported via Turkmenistan territory for January – May 2018. This is 66.8 percent more that in the same period of the last year. The most part of the cargo has been transported by the railway (64.6 percent) and by vehicles (29 percent).
Steady growth of export shipment is observed on the background of the reduction of the import of goods stipulated by the rapid development of import substitutive production. For example, 5,849,900 tons of export cargo, which is 83.6 percent more of the same period of 2017, have been transferred by all modes of transport (excluding pipeline) for January – May 2018. Export shipments were mainly carried out by water (76.1 percent), railway (12.4 percent) and motor (11.5 percent) transport.
For the last years, modern airports, railway stations provided with advanced equipment have been put into operation in Turkmenistan; thousands kilometres of railways and motor highways, engineering facilities like railway and automobile bridges, intersections and flyovers have been built.
Dynamically developing economy of Turkmenistan sets additional requirements for the increment of throughput capacity of the infrastructure to transport system of the country and for introduction of new technologies and innovative solutions, improvement of quality of service and planning and reduction of administrative barriers.
Outlining the utmost objectives of transport sphere, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov points out the necessity of its further improvement, expansion of the services, which have to meet high quality criteria and international standards.
Base, structural and institutional transformations are made in the division of transport complex at the modern stage. Legal base of transport industry meeting new social and economic conditions is created. The functions of the Government management and business activity have been separated; the system of the state regulation of transport activity adequate to market conditions has been made.
In this context, the Head of the State highlights the importance of organization of the work for service of the passenger on modern level, creation of conditions for provision of people with opportunity to go to destinations points during summer holidays without any problems.
Following this, transport structures of the country have developed the plan of certain measures aimed at the fulfilment of the assignments of the Leader of the Nation. All main departments have carried out relative work. For example, the trains following to the most popular destination have been supplied with additional carriers, which created additional passenger seats. In addition, the number of trains from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashy, which is the most popular in summer period when thousands of citizens of the capital go to Caspian coast to Avaza National tourist zone, was increased.
In the beginning of summer season in June, International Airport of the coastal city served 135 regular passenger flights, 98 Ashgabat – Turkmenbashy flights, 26 Dashoguz - Turkmenbashy flights, 7 Mary – Turkmenbashy flights, 4 Turkmenabat – Turkmenbashy flights, which is 22 flights more than in June of the last year. The number of passengers for the first month of the summer was 20,532 people, which is 4,089 passengers more than in the same period of the last year.
In general, Turkmenbashy International Airport served 1,688 regular passenger flights from January to June; the number of passengers was 211,865 people.
The number of foreign air companies making agreement with Turkmenbashy International Airport on technical landing of cargo aircrafts as well as on fuelling and ground services grows every year. There are such big carriers as «Cargolux Airlines Intenational S.A.» based in Luxemburg, Slovakian «Air Cargo Global», American «Air Trans Cargo», Emirates «Jetex Flight Support», Russian “Volga – Dnepr”, Avion Aero”, “Aviacon Citotrans” and other among them.
In particular, 426 technical landings of foreign aircraft have been made for the first half of 2018 in Turkmenbashy International Airport. It brought considerable foreign currency income, which increased by 15.6 percent comparing with the same period of the last year.
At present time, the airport serves 8 regular passenger flights as well as three foreign flights making technical landing per day.
Aircrafts of Turkmenistan Air Company OJSV transport 1294 in average per day, which is 234 people more comparing with June of the last year.
Besides, it is possible to go to sea resort from Ashgabat and other regions of the country by regular shuttle buses. All necessary conditions have been made in these buses for comfortable travelling to the destination point. Tickets sale at railway and bus stations has been brought to order and they can be bought without staying in queue. Railway and air traffic of the country is available online form this summer.
Other specific measures aimed at the provision of systematic control of work of transport, improvement of equipment and facilities base of the industry, improvement of service quality are also taken.
Large-scale work expanded in the country for improvement of transport sphere is a visual evidence that care of people, improvement of the wealth of the nation is an important priority of socially oriented policy pursued by the President of Turkmenistan.
“New highways and railroads, seaports and bridges are built; our country revives again the Silk Road in the third millennium”, - President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlights.
We realize this concept not only in construction of big transport facilities, roads and transport corridors. Our independent neutral state makes big input to the development and improvement of political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations in international arena, the Leader of the Nation highlighted, expanding the ideal background of slogan of 2018 “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” until comprehensive concepts and representations about peace and cooperation for creation of better future for all humankind.
These priorities are highlighted by the most visual way in logistic strategy of the Head of the State. For the last years, Turkmenistan completed such grandiose projects as the construction of International Airport in the capital, first section of international railroad Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Tajikistan, Kerky – Imamnazar – Akina line, construction of Turkmenbashy International Seaport as well as the beginning of construction of Ashgabat – Turkmenbashy highway, etc. Convenient and safe international corridors involving railway, motor, air and water transport, which provides successful development in the region, improvement of neighbouring relations, cooperation and increment of trade turnover, are made in the country.
Turkmen railroad constructors have built the railway from frontier station Serhetabat in Mary Velayat to Afghan city of Turgundy in short period. This line opens large opportunities for connection of Afghanistan to transport and logistic system of Turkmenistan and to entire region.
Using this railway line, our southern neighbour gets the most convenient route for export of its production to foreign markets and import of required foreign goods. This project will support the growth of international cargo traffic as well as to the establishment of Turkmenistan as the key transport and logistic centre of the region and the continent.
Development of transport communications becomes one of the most important terms of efficient international partnership. In this aspect, Turkmen nation, which honours the road constructions from the old times, deservingly continues this tradition, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted.
This subject is deeply revealed in book of the President “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” on example of facts from national history, plots of ancient legends and events of modern life of the country.
In his book, Turkmen leader makes special mention that one of the fundamental roles in creation and active operation of the Silk Road, every branch of each deserves to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, belongs to Turkmen nations.
Therefore, successful implementation of large transport projects of the century by our state writes new history and the idea of revival of the Silk Road, which heart is independent neutral Turkmenistan according to the Head of the State, receives its new meaning.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov notes that unified transport system expanded in the country and covering all sectors of communications with good transport and precise technical and legal policy and coordinated mechanisms of cooperation is able to influence geopolitical situation outlining close relations of its economic components with national strategies of the country development.
As is known, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed the idea of organization of rally from Amul to Hazar along the route of the Silk Road.
Foreign participants of the rally will be able not only to join the heritage of Turkmen nation but also to see new life that comes to these legendary places together with fundamental social and economic changes, scientific and technical progress and industrial development of the regions of the country consolidating its role as important transportation hub on the Silk Road in modern age.
If once upon a time caravan trails crossing the ocean of sands spread around oasis of prosperous cities used to run through this places, nowadays, high-class roads and modern railroads have been laid here. All of these, together with diving into landscape environment will give unique opportunity to imagine the past and the present of the Great Silk Road to the tourist.
Advantages of geographic location of Turkmenistan on intersection of the main routes of the continent allowed our country realizing national transport resource in the development of economic relations while the richness of national cultural heritage allows improving ts role in humanitarian and spiritual dialog of the nations.
Promoting this concept, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlights that formation of modern ramified transport and communication system is one of the priorities of the state policy of Turkmenistan, which is aimed at progressive social and economic development of the country and establishment of wide regional and international cooperation for the universal wealth.
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